Monday, September 18, 2006

Now we’re fucked

Darwin’s laughing from the grave, that beardy old bastard.

Yes it seems sharks have finally mastered flight. Time to give back the keys to the food chain's executive washroom, we’ve just been handed our evolutionary pink slip.

Reality TV could be blamed. Or the Bush Administration. Or low-carb beer, or MySpace, or iPods, or Paris Hilton, or M. Night Shyamalan, or Matt Lauer, or Chingy, or that fucking “My Humps” song, or the appetizer menu at TFI Friday’s, or the Illuminati, or midgets, or space-zombies, or electric-invisible-robot space-zombies. But alas these are mere symptoms of the greater malady, the tell-tale cancer-cough of a species that’s been on a de-evolutionary trajectory since ‘round 'bout the Industrial Revolution.

Yeah, stupid people are breeding faster than the smart people, and yeah our first-world cultures have become anti-intellectualized to the point that doctoral dissertations are now littered with smileys and text message truncations. Like the dinosaurs and the sasquatches before us, we've become as anachronistic as leg warmers to a quadruple amputee. But unlike the dinosaurs and sasquatches, it won't be a moon-sized meteor or vengeful blow-torch-wielding Santa Claus that will be blamed for our demise; our extinction will be chalked up to our own damned apathy. Oh, and the flying sharks.

Our plunge into the chum-bucket of obsolescence should come as a shock to no one; the fat lady's been riffing that final refrain of our requiem for nearly a century. But did we ever once attempt to right our path? Did we rally together as a species to make a concentrated effort to wipe the Cheet-o dust off our temporal lobes and get back to the business of mastering space-time so we could finally build the starfleet that would allow us to visit distant galaxies -- populated by benevolent aliens living in peaceful, utopian societies -- and crush them? Of course not. We were too busy playing Date Rape Mario on our Nintendo DS. And while we were all complacently slipping back into the primordial ooze, too tied up with our XBOX360’s and celebrity gossip blogs to even notice or care, guess what was happening?

The sharks were plotting.

The sharks were scheming. The sharks were biding their time. Our existence was but a blip on their evolutionary time-line -- a heredity dating back 450 million years. They knew all too well we'd eventually get too damn fat and lazy to serve any ecological purpose but feed for their trough. They knew they'd eventually reclaim their rightful place at the top of the Natural Selection Pyramid. All they had to do was sit. And wait. And learn to fly.

The sharks are coming, people. And there's nothing we can do to stop them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Delirium Tremens

The best part about binge drinking is obvious; the drinking. The worst part’s a little harder to put a finger on, but I’d have to say it’s when you wake up after a six-day blackout locked in the walk-in freezer of a Chuck E. Cheese, chained to a pallet of mozzarella sticks with nothing but an anthropomorphic rat suit for warmth and nary a drop of liquor in sight.

Which pretty much describes my Sunday night. The details of how I’d ended up there probably aren’t important; I’ll have to assume that’s the case since the part of my brain hosting those memories has been closed for repairs. All I know is I woke with a chill, thinking I’d left the A/C on high again, only to find myself in that icy -- yet delicious -- cavern of death. My first instinct was to check my back for sutures. The last time I woke up with nipples this hard I’d been left in a bathtub full of Otter Freezer Pops short one set of kidneys (thankfully the organ thieves -- on discovering the kidneys’ state of disrepair -- decided to return my vital organs. They did make me give back the Otter Pops, though). From what my frost-bit fingers could feel through the fake rodent fur, everything was in place. So I shook the sandman-spunk out of my eyes and set out in search of a solution for what was now my most pressing concern: Finding a drink, and fast.

See, the DT shakes had already set in. For those of you unfamiliar with delirium tremens, think of it as nature’s way of telling you "it’s Miller time." The boozy-jigglies usually aren’t much of a problem since I’m rarely without a can of giggle-juice in spitting distance, and it only takes a Tall Boy or two to steady my hand so I can get back to operating the drill press. But there in that freezer I was pretty sure I was shit out of luck. Still, I figured I’d honor my alma mater and give it the old Harvard try (I refer of course to the Harvard Lewis School for Wayward Boys). I tore that freezer apart looking for something, anything, containing alcohol.

Unfortunately my initial hunch was correct. There were frozen sundries a-plenty but not even a bag of daiquiri mix I could suck on. I tried licking the sauce off a carton’s worth of tequila-mango buffalo wings for a buzz with no success. In a panic I even tried fermenting beer using pizza dough yeast and my own urine. Alas, my name was failure. So I sat down and prepared myself for the inevitable hallucinatory hell-ride I knew was only moments away.

Don’t think the irony escapes me that the most harrowing part of delirium tremens is something I’d been known to pay good money for; namely, hallucinations. But the DT-variety trip is not the consciousness-expanding talking rainbows we’ve come to expect from a hit of windowpane at the Pink Floyd laser show. The DT’s namesake delirium is more like experiencing one’s own death via every means Earthly possible for 6 straight hours. It was not a journey for the faint of heart or weak of spirit. Still, it hadn’t been the first time and probably wouldn’t be the last, and if a 40% mortality rate (as is associated with alcohol withdrawal) was going to faze me I’d have never tried snorting drain cleaner (an experiment I considered mostly a success). “Come on, you bastards!” I screamed at the vampire-fanged spiders that were now materializing from the freezer walls, “I’m ready for ya!”

There’s no describing the sheer horror I experienced next; but as a writer, I’ll do my best to try. Frozen Chicken Dippers transformed into miniature demons that poked my eyes with pitch-forks. Cheez-N-Bacon Potato Peelin's morphed into wolverines that tore my flesh with razor-sharp teeth. Spicy Garlic Breadstix Bites grew ten-inch spikes and launched themselves at me with the velocity of a Randy Johnson fastball. I screamed, I gnashed my teeth, I tore out clumps of my own hair in panic, not knowing if the next terrifying second would be my last. And then, just when I’d about given up on life and was ready to let the fiendish fire-breathing jalapeƱo poppers finish me off, an angel appeared. My guardian angel. Hooch.

That’s right. The lovable French mastiff from American cinema’s Turner & Hooch.

"Hello Ronnie," Hooch said, sounding a bit like Scoobie Doo only with a French accent.

"Hi there, old friend," I replied. "Looks like Mr. Pudding's gone and done it again. So is this it? Am I gonna die?"

"Ruff-ruff-ruff!" he laughed. "We're all gonna die someday. But you've still got a lot of work to do spreading the Good Lord's message. The message of the power of dance."

"The power of dance?" I queried in inner-dialog. Because before I could get the words out of my mouth, Hooch had disappeared in a puff of vanilla-scented smoke as the freezer door burst open and an army of police, firemen and EMT's poured in. In a matter of moments I was on a gurney and on my way to the Cedar-Sinai detox wing.

Seems my blood-curdling screams had alerted a security guard to my presence. But were it not for Hooch and his cryptic message about the power of dance, I surely would have died convulsing in a slush-puddle of my own bloody vomit, bile and piss there on the cold Chuck E. Cheese freezer floor. And just what did Hooch mean with all that business about the power of dance? I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it has something to do with my newest spec script (it used to be about zombie ninjas but after a quick rewrite it's now about DANCING zombie ninjas). All I know for certain's that if my writing can affect someone the way Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett, Daniel Petrie Jr., Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. affected me with their script for Turner & Hooch, maybe I can save a life the way they saved mine. And at the end of the day, isn't that WHY we write? To save lives?

I know it's why I do it. Well, that and the 7-figure paydays. And the cocaine. And the banging Asian hookers four at a time in a Chateau Marmont bungalow. But mostly, it's about saving lives.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Scientology Warning! OT Level 7 may turn your sperm Chinese!

“Hello, Mr. Cruise? This is Dr. Rolando from the sperm bank. Seems there’s been a bit of a mix-up.”

“What do you mean ’mix-up’?”

“You said you wanted a donor with exceptional intelligence, good health, and all that, right? Well you can rest assured our donor holds a PhD from MIT and is in perfect physical condition. But the thing is… “

“Will you get to the point? I’ve got Thetan auditing in 10 minutes. Crazy Xenu demons are killing me.”

“The thing is, when you said you wanted a Caucasian donor, well… we sort of skipped over that first part."

"Which part?"

The ‘c-a-u-c’ part. Simple clerical error, really.”

“Just what are you trying to say?”

Don't let the blue-gray eyes foool you. I’ve seen kids less Asian-looking pulling rickshaws through Tiananmen Square. Apparently the Cruises patronize the same “children who look nothing like their adoptive parents” black market baby ring where Michael Jackson gets all his golden-haired technical incest victims. I guess growing up in the lap of luxury is a better way to spend one’s childhood than stitching together knock-off Gucci bags in some Chinese government-run sweatshop, but considering poor Suri’s going to have to listen to round-eye daddy drooling out non-sequiturs about how modern psychiatry invites infestation by invisible space squids I’d say just barely.